The UCI Road World Championships caused quite a stir among The Pearl-Qatar residents particularly when it was announced that the roads are being blocked for an extended period of time over the course of nine days.
It caused us a bit of panic at first and thoughts like ‘What if there’s an emergency and we have to take the baby to the hospital?’, ‘Should we be stocking up on food and water?’ crossed our minds as if a zombie apocalypse was about to happen. We calmed down and decided to embrace the situation and make the most of it.
Since Anthony is off for a week, we’ll get to spend some quality time as a family for nine days. Besides, this is the best place to be stuck at where there’s a cinema across our street, restaurants all over the place and a swimming pool right down our building. We decided to treat this as a mini staycation for the Nicolet family.
As with any vacation we take, we do our research on things to do. So I combed through the UCI website and regularly checked The Pearl Qatar Instagram (since I’m glued on Instagram 24hours a day anyways) for updates.
Here’s what I gathered:
GETTING AROUND THE ISLAND
Road closure schedule is posted on UCI Road World Championships website and updates are posted on The Pearl Qatar’s Instagram page. I also received an SMS message today from UDC with the updated road closure timings. During this time, people can get in and out of The Pearl by either taking the water taxi shuttle or the shuttle bus.
Water taxi shuttle drop off/pick up points are located in Tower 1 and around Tower 27 in Porto Arabia and Tower 31 in Viva Bahriya. The water shuttle drop off point is at Katara only while the shuttle buses, located in Medina Central take people to Katara and Doha Exhibition Center. You can take the golf carts to get to these points.
Golf carts are available around Porto Arabia, Medina Centrale, and Viva Bahriya. We got to hop on a few yesterday and the drivers were really helpful with folding the baby stroller and even called for golf carts when one wasn’t available immediately.
Restaurants, shops, and other facilities are operational during regular opening hours. I found this list of retail store and restaurants to all Pearl residents via the Resident Card:
With the same Resident Card, you can access the Resident Hub located at the Doha Exhibition Center. It’s a hospitality hub with loads of activities for kids and families. Facilities include a business center, relaxing room with massage chairs, a nursing rom and diaper change station, a fitness room, Ping Pong, Pool Table and many more. There are a number of activities for kids there too, with video games, TV etc… Light food and snacks are available at the food concession stand at a discounted price (Popcorn Girl, Café Crepe de Paris, Amazing Waffle Station, Jones the Grocer, Fahad & Ahbadi, Almarai).
If you’re not bothered with leaving the Pearl, you can also visit the Fan Zone located at Costa Malaz Beach, which is operational starting from today until the 16th of October. The tent is open to the public and offers games, activities, and food & beverage. Anthony and I will be checking the Fan Zone today and I’ll report on what’s in there on Snapchat: clumsy.chic
EXPERIENCE SO FAR
We played tourist on the first day of the race. Started the day with a stroll along the promenade in the morning since the weather was gorgeous. There are golf cart stations at each crossing point along the promenade at Porto Arabia and took one to go to Tower 1 where one of the water taxi shuttle station is located.
Once we got there, we hopped on a dhow boat and cruised to Katara. The people were really helpful and even carried the baby stroller on board the dhow. The ride was really nice and relaxing especially with the stunning view of The Pearl and West Bay.
We got to Katara and there were golf carts lined up in the promenade. We got on one that took us to the parking lot on the other side of Katara where there are shuttle buses that takes people to Doha Exhibition Center at The Pearl Resident Hub. We arrived there in no time.
We decided to check out the Resident Hub and although, it was still a bit quiet, I was impressed with their facilities. I immediately spotted a mother’s area and nursed Moon and changed her on the changing tables available in the room. After that, we bee lined to one of the food concession stands and got ourselves each a nutella crepe.
Next stop was lunch. We headed back to Katara and had a wonderful Arabic lunch at Burj Al Hamam. The last time I ate there was a while ago and was pleasantly surprised that the quality of the food is still great. After lunch, we decided to walk all the way back home as the sun was setting. We got home just in time to put the baby to bed.
We were thinking of checking out the Fan Zone tomorrow so I’ll make sure to report what’s around on my Snapchat: clumsy.chic and Instagram stories: clumsyandchic.
Be sure to follow The Pearl Qatar Instagram for live updates on the race, information on road closures, and what’s happening around The Pearl.